Perhaps the greatest misunderstanding we gay conservatives face is the media narrative that a dominant thread of modern conservative thought is hostility toward homosexuals while the principal plank of the Republican party is discrimination against gay people. To be sure, there are elements of the conservative coalition antagonistic to gay people.
Anyone familiar with the dominant strains of conservative thought, however, knows that criticism of homosexuality is largely tangential to the movement, if even relevant. Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, the two men credited with bringing conservatism into the mainstream, have even showed considerable sympathy for gay concerns and expressed opposition to anti-gay forces on the right.
Before the-then Governor of California came out against the truly anti-gay Proposition 6 in 1978, Ronald Reagan publicly expressed his opposition to this initiative which would have banned gay people from teaching in Golden State public schools. (The Gipper’s public opposition shamed Jerry Brown into ending his silence on the issue.) And that once (and current) Governor is concerned a hero among gays.
So, in the latest brouhaha over gays in the conservative movement, it comes as no surprise to us that most mainstream conservatives stand against those would exclude people like us from conservative conclaves. John Hinderaker who writes at one of the leading conservative web-sites sums it up:
Recently, there has been controversy over this year’s CPAC, because certain social conservative groups have withdrawn from the event rather than share it with GOProud, a group of gay conservatives. Consistent with my general approach to these matters, my instinctive sympathies were with GOProud.
Commenting on a clip from MSNBC featuring GOProud’s Chris Barron, Hinderaker concludes, “If Barron speaks for GOProud, as I assume he does, they are a welcome and potentially powerful part of our conservative movement.”
And I know from personal experience that John means what he says. I’ve gotten to know that good man (and his wonderful family) over the years. While we don’t agree on all issues, he has listened to my arguments and welcomed me into his home.
His attitude is a sign of the welcome gay conservatives, like Chris Barron, like Bruce Carroll, like myself, have found on the right. It would be nice if more in the media took note of our experiences.
FROM THE COMMENTS: Lesbian NeoCon builds on my last sentence:
The media never will, because it doesn’t suit their flawed narrative. Gays are supposed to be some oppressed persecuted group of victims, that need liberalism to tell them how lucky they are to be victims. F that!!! 90% of my friends are conservative, and none of them have ever expressed any negative sentiment towards me, or my sexuality. They’re happy to see that I don’t subscribe to victimhood, but rather succeed in life through use of my own ingenuity and abilities. And that gays think liberals give a crap about them, is laughable. Lip service is the liberal game, and gays seem to fall for it every election cycle. Stuck on stupid.